For Tiago Monteiro, the first race weekend of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), held on Monza's Autodromo, finished like it began, with cruel disappointments. The Portuguese driver was forced to abandon both races: following a collision with a competitor in the first chicane of the first leg, and because of a problem with the SEAT Leon TDI's turbo in the second leg.
Tiago had been aware of the inherent problems of a start from the 8th row of the starting grid. He tried to avoid the incidents which generally plague race starts but could not manage to get around them. "I had a good start that enabled me to move up several positions, but which finished in contact with several competitors and which prevented me from continuing the race," declared the driver of the SEAT Leon TDI #18 car.
Tiago negotiated the start of the second race well, and got through the first chicane without incident. He moved up into the points, in 9th position, and was posting times similar to the leaders of the first few laps, but the second half of the race took a turn for the worse. "I moved up several positions, I did some good overtaking, but I had problems with turbo pressure which got worse and forced me to DNF. It was not the start to the season that I was hoping for! Luck was not on my side this weekend, but it was just the first two races and I am not going to give up," Tiago Monteiro concluded.
The next FIA WTCC races will take place March 31 and April 1 on Spain's Valencia circ